We scour the bar scene to bring you the new and noteworthy. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
Inspired by the Pacific Ocean, Mandarin Oriental’s new bar concept MO Bar – a collaboration with award-winning bar developers Proof & Company – features Polynesian-chic decor, with hand-carved wooden sculptures, woven tapestries and travel artefacts integrated throughout. We’d suggest sitting at the beautifully-designed contemporary bar, where, in addition to great cityscape views, you can see the bartenders hard at work; we loved watching them experiment with different creations, and play around with interesting garnishes like edible coral!
The Chosen Ones
There are 14 cocktails on the menu, each inspired by a different port city in Asia – and each with its own backstory, conveyed to us by our knowledgeable bartender Joshua as our drinks arrived. We particularly loved the very tropical Nana Motu ($28) with pineapple, rum and spices, served in a pineapple glass, and the super-smooth 7000 Leagues Ahead ($24) with Super Sonic Gin, kaffir lime leaf oil; it tastes like a gin and tonic but without the soda water carbonation. Also on the must-try list: the festive-tasting Twilight by the Bay ($26) – fermented mangosteen and cinnamon rum, garnished with a carved-out mangosteen holding port wine that’s to be poured into the drink – and the The Roaring City ($24) – refreshing sparkling pineapple tapache (a fermented beverage made from pineapple) topped with vermouth jelly, and served on a Peranakan tile coaster.
The most Insta-worthy pick is by far the colourful, Halong Bay-inspired Mother of Dragons ($26, pictured) with strawberry aloe vera, dragonfruit juice and cachaça (a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice), topped with an intricate dragon design on edible, dissolvable rice paper – it’s beautiful!
Bite on this
Don’t fill up completely on the homemade curry almonds and addicting vegetable crisps like we did – there are so many other things to try! Popular picks include the Singdog ($26) – a Nonya sausage with sambal mayo – the Somen noodles ($32) with Tasmanian crab, shallot vinegar and crab roe, and the Indo-China prawns ($26) with masala mayo and calamansi. To finish, the avocado dessert ($16) with avocado mousse and gula melaka ice cream is a fan-favourite.
Like this? Read more at our wine and dine section